The majority of my fingers are wrapped in bandages, evidence of a very productive metals week! I need to toughen up my fingers and hands from too many weeks of working in soft fiber! The project that gave me the most cuts on my fingers was the branch project for a private residence. A lot of the welded embellishments on each branch produced sharp welded straggler wires that I needed to take the power steel wire brush to. The clients have a lovely home with a large great room wall that had beautiful glass platters displayed but wanted a sculpture that would pull it all together. To the left (not pictured) is also a large horizontal wall above their dining room that I designed and welded a 6’ arching group of branches that gently moved
away from the vertical piece but tied the room together visually. I also welded 3 smaller sets of branches that I’m letting the client place throughout their space if needed. They are able to take a week to see which pieces they like and which pieces they will keep. Any unwanted branch sculptures will be taken to the Gallery for sale. I usually will make a couple of extra pieces or will even create two works and let a customer choose. This takes the pressure off of me, the client and enables me to have additional inventory at the Gallery. When I’m asked to create a special commission I make an appointment with the client and show up freshly showered (not in my dirty welding gear) on time and ready to talk business. Cell phone turned off, little black book in hand along with my digital camera and tape measure I ask a lot of questions with usually the first question is what type of budget were they considering. After both of us are in agreement and I feel I have a clear understanding of what the goal of the project is, I give them a definite timeline of when they can either expect digital images of the work in progress or when I can deliver the
completed work. I rarely perform an actual installation due to liability reasons and I explain this in my first meeting. I prefer to let the customer hang and install their own sculptures as they see fit. Though I do advise and stress the importance of securely hanging and properly wiring all sculptures due to earthquake issues.
The best way to end a week of hard work is breakfast and friendship with our informal Art Coffee Group. Friday a few of us met at Middle Way Café (Fridays special is my favorite MEXICAN BENEDICT!) to say farewellto Mary Hertert who is moving to Grand Junction, Colorado. Mary and I started Art Coffee several years ago as a way to get independent artists out of our studios to share, inspire and meet other like-minded creative types. We also share information on studio spaces needed or available and upcoming shows. Going clockwise, starting at the lower left wearing glasses, is Laura Mendola –hot glass, Tami Phelps –hand colored photography, Mary Hertert –Color Creek fiber Art, Me –metals/fiber, Wendy Gingell –ceramics, Amanda Brannon -author & illustrator, Duke Russell –musician and painter, (hard to see) Marieke Heatwole –metals, (hard to see) Amanda Thompson –painter, Elise Strauss –lampwork beads, Sheary Suiter –encaustics, Natalie Chomyk-Daniels –mixed media. Check out some of the artist links -what a diverse and talented group of people and the Mexican Benedict with spicy chorizo, avo's and fresh SALSA was divine.